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Just 9.1 percent of the construction labor force in the U.S. are women, but lawmakers and professional organizations are trying to change that.

The industry is projected 12 percent employment growth by 2026, and is currently grappling with one of the biggest labor shortages of all industries in the U.S. In an effort to remedy that, legislators and other groups are hoping to bring more women into the industry, particularly since the average earnings for women relative to men are higher in construction, 95.7 percent of what men in the industry make, versus the average 82 percent across all industries, according to The National Association of Women in Construction, CNBC reports.

The average annual salary for construction workers in the U.S. in 2017 was $38,890, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), though pay varies based on experience, job title and location. U.S. News & World Report found that in other construction roles, including structural iron and steel workers and construction managers, average salaries climbed as high as $101,000.

Of the women currently employed in the construction industry, 45 percent are in sales and office roles, 31 percent are in professional management roles, 21 percent are in natural resource, construction and maintenance roles, 1.5 percent are in service occupation roles (including cleaning and maintenance jobs) and 1.4 percent are in production, transportation and material moving roles.

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